ICT in Education: Harnessing Technology to Improve Educational Outcomes
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ICT in Education: Harnessing Technology to Improve Educational Outcomes Vanessa Pittard, Director, e-Strategy. With Professor Jean Underwood, University of Nottingham “There is now a growing body of evidence of the very real impact of technology on both formal and informal learning.

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Ict in education harnessing technology to improve educational outcomes

ICT in Education: Harnessing Technology to Improve Educational Outcomes

Vanessa Pittard, Director, e-Strategy


Ict in education harnessing technology to improve educational outcomes

  • With Professor Jean Underwood, University of Nottingham

  • “There is now a growing body of evidence of the very real impact of technology on both formal and informal learning.

  • These are:

    • impacts that bring about changes in behaviour at learner, teacher and school level

    • those that bring about changes in academic performance”


A deep cultural revolution

Moving on from ‘the old debate’.

The problem with deep cultural revolutions is that ‘impact’ can be subtle and complex.

A deep cultural revolution

image: comgotech


The problem of ict

The problem of ‘ICT’


Ict in education harnessing technology to improve educational outcomes

General impact: pupil use for subject learning

  • Relative gain equivalent to additional progress of:

  • - Half a term in KS2 maths

  • A term in KS2 English

  • A term and a half in KS3

  • science

  • Half a term in KS3 maths

  • And improved attainment of:

  • 0.6 of a grade in GCSE

  • science

  • 0.4 of a grade in GCSE D&T

  • 0.8 of a grade in GCSE MFL

  • 0.4 of a grade in GCSE

  • geography

Harrison et al (2003) ImpaCT2 - ICT and Pupil Attainment,

Comparison of higher/lower users of ICT for subject learning (median split).

‘Relative gain’ = gain of higher users of technology relative to PIPS and YELLIS prediction


The importance of home use

The importance of home use

After controlling for KS3 results...

The availability of a computer at home is significantly positively associated with KS4 scores: around 14 GCSE points (equivalent to 2 GCSE grades) and 5.8% reduction likelihood of playing truant at age 16.

Losingaccess to a computer is associated with a reduction of 20 GCSE points, even after controlling for prior attainment, and a 5.3% increase in the probability of playing truant at age 16.

Gaining access to a computer is associated with 10 GCSE points and a 4.3% reduction in the probability of playing truant at age 16.

Institute of Fiscal Studies (2009) Analysis of LSYPE data


Ict in education harnessing technology to improve educational outcomes

The importance of school ‘e-maturity’

The ICT Test Bed: 2002-2006

The extent to which ICT is part of school leadership and management and integral to teaching and learning.

Secondary schools who have improved their e-maturity demonstrate greater improvement in:

KS4 % of A*-Cs

KS3 average point scores,

School absence rates (lower),

KS 3-4 value add

This controls for a range of school factors, including % of pupils receiving free school meals (disadvantage) and prior pupil performance

(Butt and Cebulla, 2006)


Ict in education harnessing technology to improve educational outcomes

Changing practice: IWBs in primary schools

“A consistent finding across all data is that the length of time pupils have been taught with an interactive whiteboard is the major factor that leads to attainment gains.

…when teachers have had sustained experience (around two years) of using an interactive whiteboard, they are able to change their teaching practices to make best use of its facilities”

Somekh et al (2007) Evaluation of Schools Whiteboard Expansion Project, DfES/Becta


Ict in education harnessing technology to improve educational outcomes

Supporting practice: broadband in schools

  • Schools making good use of connectivity in class demonstrated statistically significant improvement to the percentage of pupils gaining 5+ A*-Cs at GCSE

  • Greater opportunities to support pupil-led research in the classroom, using the internet in real time to support project-based learning.

  • Likely to be linked to the development of higher-order skills which were reflected in GCSE assessment

    Underwood et al (2005)

  • Lessons? Technology’s place in the

    learning model

  • Example: Cramlington Learning Village

    Accelerated Learning Cycle


High impact solving educational problems with ict

High impact: solving educational problems with ICT

Example - readiness for school: Executive attention

Diamond and Posner computer-based listening training for pre- and early school students

  • Executive functions (EFs), also called cognitive control, are critical for success in school and life. Although EF skills are rarely taught, they can be.

  • EFs are more strongly associated with school readiness than are intelligence quotient (IQ) or entry-level reading or maths skills

  • Working memory and inhibition independently predict maths and reading scores in preschool through high school


Putting it together e maturity and solving problems with ict

Putting it together: e-maturity and solving problems with ICT

ICT strategies for improving schools:

  • Monitoring and analysing achievement and progress

  • IT systems for managing and monitoring attendance and behaviour (lesson registration, parental alerting)

  • Greater use of technology to engage under-achieving pupils, especially creative and applied learning using technology;

  • Supporting community and learner voice through online polls and forums

    Hollingworth et al., 2008.

ICT strategies for narrowing the gap:

  • Improving results by monitoring behaviour

  • Authentic learning

  • Using learner self-assessments

  • Practice makes perfect

  • Changing student perceptions of the classroom

  • Just-in-time tutoring

  • Learners with English as an additional language

  • Improving central executive functioning

  • Using biofeedback to ameliorate the problem of ADHD

    Underwood et al (2009)


Thank you vanessa pittard@becta org uk

Thank you

[email protected]


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